anonymous tech woman

Yet another woman in technology blog. I'm actually a developer who uses a variety of Java and database technologies on a variety of platforms.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Last week I was reading a story about Australian government employees using their national identity database for their own ends, and this week I've just read a story about a Home Office database being open to people who should not have any reason to use it. The government seems devoid of commonsense in all matters to do with personal data and IT. And they wonder why any member of the public or a profession where they are trying to implement another wasted IT system doesn't want it.

Technorati Tags: identity cards, UK, theft , government

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

XML Parsers for Java

I have had to use DOM or SAX parsers to parse XML documents into useful Java Objects. DOM has the problem that it uses lots of memory so it is not useful for large XML files or memory intensive applications. This means that you have to use a SAX parser. However SAX has the problem that you have to run through the XML file sequentially to read nodes which means you end up with a slower performance. VTD-XML claims to be a XML Parser that puts XML documents in memory like DOM but uses less memory. However as it doesn't use a DTD or validate XML it is not really a parser, and so is just an API.

Technorati Tags: XML, VTD-XML, XML ParsersJava

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Fun using Java 5 at work

Where I work currently (and the precise company is none of your business) most of the Java code is written in Java 1.4. As the company uses systems for years they realised that to get the benefits of newer technology, if the technology is viable then they should start using it once it is beta tested. As Java 5 compilers can compile Java 1.4 code they therefore decided that all new code should be written to Java 5 standards. This means using Generics in collections, to get compiler time safe collections, and enumerations instead of lots of final static variables for constants. This means my summer of looking at Java 5 has not be wasted as I automatically uses features such as StringBuilder and Generics.

Other companies however think such an approach is risky as they need to check that everything works together, and so have to develop using legacy compilers i.e Java 1.1.8. The other problem is internal politics- it is hard explaining to someone who has found that a feature of Office 2003 is not compatible with an older version, that a newer compiler is compatiable with an older one depending what you do.

Technorati Tags: Java 5, Legacy+code, programming

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Getting Rid of Your PC

A few years ago I brought a new PC because my old one from my university days was on it's last legs. I got rid of my old PC by dumping it. This wasn't very ethical or envirnomentally minded but my monitor weighted 25Kg and I had no means of transport to get it to a recycling facility. Anyway after reading articles about how your hard disc can be read even if you use a program to wipe it, I physically smashed it to pieces with a hammer. This was about 3 years ago.

Yesterday I watched Real Story about people who sent there old PC's to be recycled yet didn't do anything to remove data of their hard disc. Some how they expected someone else to do this for them for free.

Technorati Tags: Recycling PC, Real Story, hammer

Friday, August 11, 2006

The number of Blogs

Apparently according to stories there are 2 blogs created a second. Most of these unfortunately are spam blogs which I have in the past few months have had the (dis-) pleasure of reading.

Technorati indicates there are about 50 million blogs most of these I think are like the blogs I've written- simple online diaries of daily events, photo blogs of trips, blogs about feelings and lastly blogs to remind yourself of stuff you have done. Of course there are photo blogs of just things in peoples' lives like their pets or hobbies. All these blogs serve a purpose which is for the writer to record things for themselves, and a selected few others. Very few blogs are good enough or informative enough to provide entertainment for other people. Some of this is due to the language they use- the person writes in slang which is really hard to read as lots of writers don't realise that the conservative form of any language means a blog is easier to read by others,- others are due to the subject matter the author writes about while still other blogs, like ones I've have written, have been done so they provide as little personal information as possible. This is because of the author wants to remain anonymous due to writing either about work or a controversial subject.

Technorati Tags: blogs, spam, Technorati

Thursday, August 03, 2006

I've been using the package to unzip and zip up openoffice files. The package is actually for reading and writing standard zip files but I thought I would try it out with openoffice write and openoffice calc files. I therefore have had to use the classes ZipEntry, ZipFile, ZipInputStream and ZipOutputStream to compress and decompress my files. There is one major problem with these classes- that is that the ZipOutputStream class has no way of compressing the empty folders needed in the openoffice open document file formats.

This means that you have to create a file by path name and use a separate to create an empty folder:

ZipEntry zipEntry = new ZipEntry(oldFile.getPath() + System.getProperty("file.separator") + " ");

This actually creates
an empty file in the zip archive with the folder name which when you open the entire document openoffice restores the file to a folder for you.

Technorati Tags: Openoffice,, zip files

Messing around with Openoffice- Part 1

I'm currently messing around with Openoffice 2.0 having a look at the xml files.

It is easier to unzip openoffice files using linux/unix but on windows you have to install winzip or winrar to unzip the files. Then you have to open the files using this utility to view the individual component. Unfortunately it seems that only winzip allows you to place an altered file into the zip archive by dragging and dropping, and then lets you view the file in the correct open document format.

All the links I could find on the subject refer to Openoffice 1.x and so they use the properiatary Openoffice format 1.x format as the basis of the articles.

Technorati Tags: Openoffice, xml, zip files